Animals at the State Fair

I had today off so I slept in a tiny bit and didn’t get up until about 6:30 am.  While Marty headed off to work, I had some breakfast and worked on my mid-term paper for my on-line Litigation class until about 9:00 am.  I then took a shower, and headed out to California State Fair.  I have actually never been to any State Fair anywhere before, so it was kind of an “adventure” for me.  All I was really interested in seeing were the animals, so before I went over to Cal Expo where the Fair was, I checked out a map online on where everything was situated in the fairgrounds.

There was hardly traffic all the way there, and I was about 4th or 5th in line when the gates opened around 10 o’clock.  I had purchases a parking pass and entrance ticket online, too, so I didn’t have to wait to get checked into the parking lot.  I found a spot right near the east gate — in the shade, no less — parked there and walked to the gate where, once again, my on-line ticket got me in without having to wait.  I walked through a corner of the kids’ zone, and then right in front of me were the Livestock Pavilion, Nursery, and Petting Zoo.  Yay!  In the Pavilion and Nursery, I got to see more llamas and alpacas than I’d ever seen in one place before, along with some Longhorn cattle (some with their calves), goats, sheep — including some 4-horned Jacobs Sheep — several lambs, several large milking cows (one who was just about ready to pop with a calf; she was due today), and two huge sows with their piglets.  One set of the piglets, 9 in all, had just been born yesterday: 5 boar babies, and 4 gilt babies.  They were all pinky-pink, sleeping in piles on top of one another.  Awwww…  In one part of the Pavilion there was a station where kids could come up to milk the cows, another area where the sheep were being sheared, and another area where a group of ladies were spinning wool from the sheep into yarn.  I also got a glimpse of some of the judging for the sheep and the llamas.

I then walked over to the Petting Zoo and let all the critters chew on my clothes and try to steal my purse from me.  The deer were little pickpockets!  Hah!  In there were chickens, potbellied pigs, goats (including a pair of white pygmy goat kids with blue eyes, several deer, a tiny fawn (who had her blue blanket with her), more llamas and alpacas… and several wallabies.  Wut?!  I wasn’t expecting those.  One hopped right up to me and let me hold his little “hands”; so cute.  I was in heaven being able to pet all of the critters, scritch the piggies, and hug some of the larger llamas… I think I enjoyed that more than some of the kids in there.

I wanted to see the Cavalcade of Horses, and the California Forest Center, but I spent so much time with the animals — almost 2 hours — that I was too tired to walk any further.  Monica had also suggested that I visit the Extreme Zone where a family-friend of hers was operating a zip-line ride… but that was on the other side of the fairgrounds; no way could I walk that far… I needed a scooter!  So, I stopped at one of the food vendor places and got some fried catfish and strips of fried zucchini and found a table in the shade to sit and have my lunch.  The servings were very generous — I bet there was almost a whole fish in there and half of a large zucchini — and even though it was very good, I couldn’t eat all of it.   I also got myself some cotton candy and a small California Golden Bear toy before heading back out to the parking lot.  It was a fun morning.